One Day In Hamburg, Germany. Our Complete Guide To Hamburg In One Day!


Hamburg is often overlooked when it comes to city breaks in Germany. Whilst most flock to Berlin or even down to Munich the Northern Port city isn’t always on the list, and even when it is people want to do Hamburg in a day. I first visited on work experience from University by chance as I happen to have family there and have visited a few times since and fallen in love! In truth just One day in Hamburg isn’t nearly enough time but it seems to be the most searched option and the most likely for a lot of visitors passing through on their way elsewhere… so we have endeavored to plan for your the perfect Hamburg in one day itinerary!
For those looking for a city break filled with incredible architecture, varied culture and fascinating history without the crowds that flock to the more popular destinations then Hamburg is ideal. From the docks to the industrial heritage of the city, the alternative vibe, live music and punk culture to ornate buildings, luxury shopping district and a leafy green city centre. Hamburg has it all, with non of the big city attitude or crowds but ten times the passion and atmosphere! So here’s our guide to 24 hours Hamburg… maybe you’ll come back for more once you see how great it is!!
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Transport Information For A One day in Hamburg Itinerary

How to plan your Hamburg one day trip around the different transport options in and around the City.


Getting In And Out Of Hamburg

Air Travel

Hamburg Airport is well served for European destinations with many low cost airlines flying here. It does however have a limited long haul service so it might be best to connect via Frankfurt or Berlin depending on your destination. However Emirates does fly from here to Dubai which means you are still pretty well connected to get to places like Asia and Australia. With short cheap flights to much of Europe though it does make doing Hamburg in a day easier to plan!

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Getting to the Airport:

The airport can be reached easily using the U-bahn service from the city centre. With it being in the outer zones it is best to buy a stand alone ticket for this trip and then think about another ticket to cover your 24 hours Hamburg.

Book A Private Airport Transfers Here

Get A Hamburg CITY Card Here Which Includes transport & Discounted Entrance Tickets

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Buses/ Coaches

Hamburg ZOB bus station is well connected with coaches heading to almost every city in Germany with buses to Berlin leaving as regularly as 30 times a day! German bus companies provide cheap transport to cities like Cologne, Leipzig, Frankfurt, Munich, Hannover, Bremen. 

Book Your Bus To Hamburg Here

Hamburg ZOB is also well served for international travel. Buses and Coaches leave daily for destination such as Vienna, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, CopenhagenZurich,Basel, Milan, Rome, Prague, Budapest and other further off destinations in Europe such as Zagreb with less regularity. Though these are long haul services so 24 hours Hamburg might be a short time after such a trip! 

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Hamburg Rathaus. (One day in Hamburg, Hamburg in one day, 1 day in Hamburg, 24 hours Hamburg, Hamburg itinerary, things to do in Hamburg, weekend in Hamburg)

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Trains

Hamburg Train Station is the busiest in Germany and the second busiest in Europe. The building itself dates back to 1906 and it’s well worth taking the time to take it in before your trip.

The station serves trains to almost every corner of Germany with more regular services to all of the big cities with Berlin being only a 2 hour trip away and places like Cologne around 4 hours away. This makes doing Hamburg in a day a lot easier as you can quickly continue your journey without being too tired.

Hamburg Train Station is also well serves for international travel with daily services to places like Paris, Basel, Zurich and Copenhagen with the later being around  4h 45 mins away, perfect for a quick 1 day in Hamburg whilst travelling around the region. 

Generally train prices are a little more expensive than the buses but will get you there faster.

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Transport In Hamburg

Metro Trains

Hamburg is served by the U-Bahn and the S-bahn metro trains which offer a great service so idea for 1 day in Hamburg.

The system works on zones similar to many other metro systems around the world. Most tourists would only be visiting zones A-B which is within the “City Zone”.

If you are coming and going from the Airport however then you will be heading out of the City Zone. You can buy tickets according to the distance, zones or type in the machine specific stations so this is the best way to get from the airport to the city.

It also works on a single ticket basis where you can buy “Short Journey” or “Local Journey” within the AB zone.

It can be a bit confusing when selecting a short journey and deciphering which one you need as it’s not clear on the machines how long that actually is. Generally it’s around 2-3 stops/ a 10 minute ride.
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One of the red brick hamburg warehouses. (One day in Hamburg, Hamburg in one day, 1 day in Hamburg, 24 hours Hamburg, Hamburg itinerary, things to do in Hamburg, weekend in Hamburg)

Day tickets can be bought and you have a choice of a “9 am Day Ticket” or an “All Day Ticket”. The All Day ticket is a little more expensive and this is because it covers the rush hour between 6am – 9am whereas the other tickets covers all hours apart from these. It’s a bit like a Peak and Off Peak ticket. You can also get Day Group Tickets too. These day tickets are then priced according to how many zones they cover.

We recommend if you’re doing Hamburg in a day then to get an All Day Ticket to save you time and cover your whole 24 hours in Hamburg.

For those who do stay longer you can also get weekly tickets.

You can check out the ticket overview here: https://www.hvv.de/en/tickets/single-day-tickets/overview

You can also look at doing one of the Hop on Hop off bus tours which are ideal for those spending only a day here as they cover all the areas you will want to visit as well as some additional information about each area/ landmark with the audio commentary available. There is also the Hamburg CITY card which includes public transport and up to 50% off tickets for attractions which you can get for your Hamburg one day trip.

Get A Hamburg CITY Card Here Which Includes transport & Discounted Entrance Tickets

Book A Hamburg Hop On Hop Off Bus Ticket Here




Hamburg Travel Blog Tips: Hamburg Tourist Info

Best Time Of Year To Visit Hamburg/ Visiting In Winter

Summer in Hamburg is generally very sunny, warm and pleasant. It can get quite hot as with many countries in Northern Europe as not many places have AC. However there are a few places where you can swim in the city, just check out Hamburg tripadvisor for the best places.

Winter is another popular time to come and in particular the time in the run up to Christmas. Hamburg can get bitterly cold and wet in the winter and snow is common. However the Christmas Markets here are some of the best and most authentic in the world and are a really magical experience and worthy of a mention on any Hamburg guide.

If ever there was a time when Hamburg does get busy it can be over the summer months but in particular the Christmas period with the markets being a Hamburg must see. Spring and Autumn can be unpredictable weather wise but late Spring and Early Autumn are usually ok but you should prepare for a variety of weather. Just bear in mind if you do only do 1 day in Hamburg then you might catch bad weather!
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Hamburg canals and warehouse district. (One day in Hamburg, Hamburg in one day, 1 day in Hamburg, 24 hours Hamburg, Hamburg itinerary, things to do in Hamburg, weekend in Hamburg)






Where to Stay: Accommodation For 1 Day In Hamburg

Looking for where to stay in Hamburg? Check out these top picks around the city.

Best Budget Backpacker: Backpackers St. Pauli

A really fun and modern hostel right in the heart of the popular St. Pauli district this is an ideal place for those wanting to experience the Hamburg nightlife. A clean, tidy and no frills backpackers this is a great spot to lay your head for the night as you spend most of your 24 hours in Hamburg exploring all the city has to offer, but in the evening you can enjoy this lively neighbourhood.

See Prices For Backpackers St. Pauli Here

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Best Mid Range Option: Studio Feuerfest

A great option for those wanting a budget private space this modern industrial guest house is the ideal place to base yourself for your 1 day in Hamburg. With friendly staff and a quirky feel it’s a cool place from which to make the most of your time in Hamburg as it is in a great location too making it one of the best hotels in Hamburg.

See Prices For Studio Feuerfest Here

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Best Treat Option: St Pauli CITY Apartment

For those looking for something a bit more upmarket the St Pauli CITY apartment is in the coolest area of the city and offers a fully furnished apartment complete with kitchen, lounge and room enough for several guests. If you’re not on a really tight budget but still want value for money then this is where to stay in for your 24 hours in Hamburg.

See Prices For The St Pauli CITY Apartment Here

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How To Spend A Day In Hamburg: Suggested Itinerary

There is a lot to do in One day in Hamburg so it’s best to plan out your time here to make the most of it. We suggest firstly thinking about what areas are the ones you want to prioritise in your 24 hours Hamburg and then going from there. For us this would be our ideal way to visit Hamburg in one day:

A different view of the famous rathaus/ townhall of Hamburg (One day in Hamburg, Hamburg in one day, 1 day in Hamburg, 24 hours Hamburg, Hamburg itinerary, things to do in Hamburg, weekend in Hamburg)

Morning

Begin the day right in the heart of the city at at the stunning Rathaus building, from here you can easily access the ornate Alster Arkaden, the venetian shopping arcade famed for its impressive architecture. This is also a perfect place to walk along the Alster too, the serine river that runs right through the centre of the city. From here you can take a short walk to see this iconic Church of St. Michaelis and even ascend it’s spire.

Lunch

That should just about take your morning up so next head to the Sternschanze/ Schanzenviertel on the train, this is a little further out but well worth it. This is an ideal place to get some lunch and try out some Currywurst before checking out the famous “Rota Flora” building and it’s homemade skatepark!

Afternoon

In the afternoon it’s time to explore the Speicherstadt Quarter, or the warehouse district. For us Meßberg is the best U-Bahn to head to as it’s just across the road from probably the most iconic view of this district. It’s is an ideal starting point to stroll down towards the Philharmonic theatre and to end up at Miniatur Wunderland, which is idea to visit once it goes dark or if the weather is really bad!

Evening

Take the train to “Landungsbrücken” which is the main harbour area of the city, this working port is both one of the most historic areas of the city but also a great modern area to hang out with bars and even an urban beach in the summer. From here it’s a short walk to the famous Reeperbahn in the St Pauli district, historically populated by sailors it has a seedy reputation but today is known as a trendy hipster area with great places to eat and drink. This is the ideal place to spend the rest of the evening experiencing the best of Hamburg’s restaurants and famous nightlife!

Many bars will have live music and remember, the party doesn’t start until late into the night in Hamburg, around 11pm, so you’ve plenty of time to explore and have some food first!

The warehouse district of hamburg and its canals. (One day in Hamburg, Hamburg in one day, 1 day in Hamburg, 24 hours Hamburg, Hamburg itinerary, things to do in Hamburg, weekend in Hamburg)

Hamburg in 1 day: Overview

In all honesty, Hamburg in one day isn’t enough time to see the city properly, but it seems like it’s the most popular or common amount of time people tend to get here as they pass through for places like Berlin or Southern Germany. But it’s enough time to get a taste of what the city has to offer, the unique architecture of the canals, harbours and different districts shaped by its history as a port town. Maybe after doing your Hamburg in 1 day trip you might come back for more!

This is a pretty exhaustive day we’ve got planned for you, but in case you didn’t realise already, we really do love Hamburg so it was hard not to include all those places. If you’re like us and love to fit in as much as possible then you should have no trouble fitting it all in to a tiring but rewarding day. But if you like to take things a bit slower (maybe a day isn’t for you!) then you can easily pick and choose from the list below and craft your own One day in Hamburg itinerary!

Get A Hamburg CITY Card Here Which Includes transport & Discounted Entrance Tickets

Book A Hamburg Hop On Hop Off Bus Ticket Here

Book A Hamburg Ultimate Discovery Day Tour Here




Why Not Book A Tour For Your Hamburg In A Day Trip?

Hamburg in one day is going to be pretty busy, so maybe a tour might help you plan your time or fit in all those places with some great info to go along too. It’s a great way to spend 24 hours in Hamburg.

Book A Hamburg Ultimate Discovery Day Tour Here



Hamburg 24 Hours:

Things To Do In One day in Hamburg:


Take In The Stunning Rathaus/ Town Hall 

The real centerpiece of the city is the beautiful town hall or Rathaus which makes it one of the top things to do in Hamburg . Set near the lake Binnenalster and built between 1886 and 1897 the town hall is a wonderful example of neo-renaissance style architecture. It was built at a time when the independent state of Hamburg wanted to show off it’s wealth and republican traditions. If you visit this beautiful city then the Rathaus should be top of your top things to do in Hamburg plan.
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To this day the Rathaus still houses Hamburg’s parliament, senate and mayors office as well as being one of the main Hamburg sights. The town hall is also pretty huge, it’s tower is 367 ft high and with 647 rooms it has 6 more than Buckingham Palace! It is also right outside here where you will find the magical Christmas Markets over the festive period, so if you find yourself here in winter wondering what to do in Hamburg then the markets are a magical experience.
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The Hamburg Rathaus is right in the heart of the city! You can’t miss it!

The impressive Hamburg Rathaus. (One day in Hamburg, Hamburg in one day, 1 day in Hamburg, 24 hours Hamburg, Hamburg itinerary, things to do in Hamburg, weekend in Hamburg)


Shop At The Venetian Alster Arkaden

Hamburg is also famous for its shopping, whether that be the independent outlets of the alternative districts or the exclusive boutiques of the elegant Alster Arkaden. The picturesque spot is lined with venetian architecture, historic arcades, detailed wrought iron lamps and is filled with the buzz of cafes and shops. Even if shopping isn’t for you, just a stroll and relaxing bite to eat around here is a lovely way to spend part of your Hamburg in one day trip and one of the many peaceful places to visit in Hamburg.
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Venetian style shopping arcade on the water called Alster Arkaden (One day in Hamburg, Hamburg in one day, 1 day in Hamburg, 24 hours Hamburg, Hamburg itinerary, things to do in Hamburg, weekend in Hamburg)

Stroll Along The Alster

The Alster is one of Hamburg’s two main rivers, the other being the all important Elbe which serves the harbour. The Alster on the other hand is much more serine and offers wonderful walks in which you almost forget you are in a city. Not only that but within the centre the river creates two beautiful swan filled lakes around which the city is built. The Alster offers untouched idyllic scenes and adds to the unique atmosphere of Hamburg with its many green spaces. There are also boat tours, rentable canoes and many other ways to enjoy the water including swimming in the summer!
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Church of St. Michaelis

A landmark of Hamburg the huge clock tower of “Michel” can be see all over the city and offers stunning views. Built between 1648 and 1661 it is one of the oldest and most well known churches in Northern Germany as well as being one of only a few purpose built protestant churches in Hamburg. The baroque church is considered one of the finest of the Hanseatic region and its interior is one of splendid gold and white. It is also possible to head up to the top of the tower for great views over the city which is one of the most popular Hamburg tourist attractions. It’s also a great quick culture pit stop for your Hamburg in one day trip.
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St Micheals church in Hamburg, (One day in Hamburg, Hamburg in one day, 1 day in Hamburg, 24 hours Hamburg, Hamburg itinerary, things to do in Hamburg, weekend in Hamburg)

Get Lost in The Alternative Sternschanze/ Schanzenviertel Quarter

Probably my favourite area of the city, the alternative quarter of Hamburg that is jam packed full of counter culture, art and music. The former working class area has evolved into the bohemian capital of the city, at its centre the “Rota Flora”, a semi-derelict building that has at one time been a theatre, informal music venue and squat, not the most obvious of the Hamburg attractions but the most cool!

Covered in graffiti it even has its own DIY skate park out at the back! “Schanze” has a real laid back vibe with independent bars, cheap places to eat, boutique shops and tiny galleries making it one of the coolest things to see in Hamburg. There is even an old war bunker right in the middle of the district which is covered in graffiti and has a climbing all up the side! It’s the trendy, borderline hipster but still grungy area of the city that we love!

The alternative Sternschanze/ Schanzenviertel Quarter of hamburg (One day in Hamburg, Hamburg in one day, 1 day in Hamburg, 24 hours Hamburg, Hamburg itinerary, things to do in Hamburg, weekend in Hamburg)


Eat CurryWurst!

A German experience not to be missed… currywurst! The Deutsch answer to our fish and chips, a huge wurst or German sausage covered in curry sauce and often served with chips slathered in mayo!! What’s not to love! You think the currywurst is good in Berlin, you haven’t tried anything yet! The best shops are in the Schanzenviertel quarter where you can also get vegetarian and vegan varieties too! The perfect snack for you Hamburg city break.
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Currywurst and chips (One day in Hamburg, Hamburg in one day, 1 day in Hamburg, 24 hours Hamburg, Hamburg itinerary, things to do in Hamburg, weekend in Hamburg)

See The Biggest Warehouse District In The World At The Speicherstadt Quarter

Much like our hometown of Manchester, Hamburg was built on industry and as a result has a myriad of canals and wonderfully repurposed warehouses and factories that have now become part of the Hamburg tourism map. Close to the harbour is the world largest warehouse complex which once stored silk, carpets, cocoa and a whole host of other goods. Often called the Venice of the north, in fact Hamburg has more canals than Amsterdam and venice combined! There are tours down the waterways, live bands playing on barges and great bars and restaurants to also explore here when you visit Hamburg. There is also the newly built “Elbphilharmonie” or Hamburg Opera House whose modern glass building was designed to represent a sail and works perfectly with the historic neighbourhood and should be high on any list of what to see in Hamburg.
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The canals of the Speicherstadt Quarter, largest warehouse area in the world (One day in Hamburg, Hamburg in one day, 1 day in Hamburg, 24 hours Hamburg, Hamburg itinerary, things to do in Hamburg, weekend in Hamburg)

Find Elbphilharmonie Tours Here

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Discover The Magic of Minitur Wunderland 

Unleash your inner geek and marvel at the sheer absurdity that is Minaur Wunderland, a must on any One day in Hamburg trip! The world’s largest model railway it contains over 1000 trains, 260.000 figures and 4.110 buildings! It really is an incredible sight to see, the detail and precision that has gone into creating this place is astounding. The scenes recreated include Hamburg and its airport with working planes that take off an land to a schedule but several other worlds too. It includes central Germany, Alpine Austria, The USA, Switzerland, Italy, Scandinavia, South America and even a funfare making it one of the most fascinating Hamburg points of interest and ideal for bad weather or to head to once it goes dark on your Hamburg in one day itinerary. 
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A mini view of Hamburg at Minatur Wunderland (One day in Hamburg, Hamburg in one day, 1 day in Hamburg, 24 hours Hamburg, Hamburg itinerary, things to do in Hamburg, weekend in Hamburg)

Visit The Historic But Modern Landungsbrücken/ Harbour Area

Hamburg was built around the water, much like Boston and Liverpool it is a harbour city and always will be. In fact it’s the third largest in the world behind London and New York and dates back over 800 years old so it’s definitely one of the best things to do in Hamburg! Hamburg was a leading member of the Hanseatic league and as such it’s full name of “The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg” reflects the rich history of this port city. In the modern era the harbour is still a working port but offers boat tours, beaches in the summer, seafood restaurant and amazing views making it a perfect place to visit on your one day in Hamburg.
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Explore The Reeperbahn & St Pauli Neighbourhood

Hamburgs most famous and infamous street, the Reeperbahn in St Pauli. The heart of entertainment, live music and the city’s red light district. A night out on this legendary street is one you will never forget, Hamburgers start the night late and end it in the early hours! It was the amazing Hamburg nightlife that brought the Beatles to this very street at the start of their careers. St Pauli also has its own football team which is synonymous with left wing politics and punk culture. It’s a really fun place to end your Hamburg in one day trip.

Live music in St Pauli. (One day in Hamburg, Hamburg in one day, 1 day in Hamburg, 24 hours Hamburg, Hamburg itinerary, things to do in Hamburg, weekend in Hamburg)




Have You Spent One Day in Hamburg? Did Our Hamburg Travel Blog Cover Everything?

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7 months ago

The whole country of Germany is on our travel wish list. So we are starting to compile our list of spots to visit. Good to get this guide on Hamburg. But I would agree that one day would not be enough to really enjoy the city with so much to see and do. I do like the idea of moving around Germany by train. I would love to visit in off season but take your warning about unpredictable weather.

Renee
7 months ago

This is one of the few cities I haven’t been to yet in Germany. I’ve always been drawn to it. The architecture and the vibrant city life – it has such a cool vibe to it. Especially in some of their unique neighborhoods – like the warehouse district.

Eat, drink and be Kerry
7 months ago

Hamburg looks like a beautiful city and would like to spend more than a day here eating lots of currywust! Yum! However, it’s good to know that I can do it in a day with your tips.

uoprincess
7 months ago

I do love a city on water. I have only been to southern Germany- and that only because Munich was the most convenient place to fly out of during a European tour. I would love to go back and explore all of Germany as I was so impressed with the small amount that I got to visit.

ElbPlaza Guide
9 months ago

Nicely illustrated page, good style, and well written.

Kalyan Panja
1 year ago

I love Hamburg. I’ve been four times now, and each time I always find myself wanting to stay longer. Great list of things to do guys! You definitely need to be hitting up some of the night parties. Hamburg has some of the most insane nightlife you’ll ever experience. Real proper German techno, haha.